David Hediger, left, Lewiston’s director of planning and code enforcement, talks with local developer Tom Platz on Jan. 12, 2023, during an informational forum on the Riverfront Island Master Plan at the Lewiston Public Library. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

LEWISTON — The city has placed David Hediger, the longtime director of planning and code enforcement, on immediate administrative leave and is not renewing his contract, according to city administration.

Angelynne Amores, director of marketing and communications, said since it is an employee matter, the city is “limited only to confirm one’s employment status” and would not comment further. Hediger was given a letter informing him of the decision Wednesday.

Reached on Thursday, Mayor Carl Sheline said, “I thank Mr. Hediger for his years of service to the city. At this time, we are seeking to move the department toward a different direction. I wish Mr. Hediger the best.”

Hediger’s department, which includes sanitation enforcement officer Louis Lachance, received criticism from DaVinci’s Eatery Co-owner Craig Tribuno last week following the restaurant’s temporary closure.

Tribuno told the Sun Journal that “the code (enforcement) people are driving good businesses out,” and that he “can’t count on the city to be my partner.”

Alex Markakis and Jimmy Albert, owners of Cowbell Grill and Tap, also cited a lack of cooperation from code enforcement after making the decision to close their Lisbon Street location last year.

Hediger has worked for the city for 25 years, joining Lewiston’s code enforcement staff in 1998. He was promoted to deputy director of planning and code enforcement in 2002. He was named director of the department in 2018 following the retirement of Gil Arsenault.

Hediger either oversaw or worked on several lauded planning efforts, including the Riverfront Island Master Plan and Legacy Lewiston Comprehensive Plan. Last year, the City Council approved hundreds of updates to city zoning ordinances in order to encourage more housing opportunities and in-fill development.

According to the Sun Journal archives, Hediger holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Policy, and is a University of Maine at Farmington graduate.

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